“Woohoo, 3 weeks until summer!”
This was the exuberant greeting I was met with when I arrived at my sister’s house last weekend. As our children ran off into the yard shouting about the last 3 weeks of school, my sister and I shared a look of trepidation. Up until now, we had been casually chatting about what we were going to do with them this summer. With my niece’s announcement, we knew it was time to put our summer plans to paper.
Each summer, we try to have a nice balance of scheduled activities and downtime. We want them to have fun and be kids, but we also want to prevent the dreaded summer slide. Before the start of each summer, we come up with a list of outings that we know will appeal to all of our children. It is summer after all and they should be able to have as much fun as possible! Here are a few fun ways we encourage learning over the summer for our kids.
5 FUN WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CHILD LEARNING THIS SUMMER
1.) Reading Skills at the Library.
Even the most reluctant reader can easily find a book that interests them at the local library. Remember to make it fun for them. Let them choose (even if it’s a book they’ve read 20 times already). One way to build on their reading skills is to start a book club. A book club can be family, friends or even you and your child. Each week, have them read a book and explain it to a partner or small group. This will help build their reading, comprehension, and recall skills.
2.) Art Appreciation at the Museum.
If your child isn’t a huge art lover, here’s a fun way to make the museum more interesting for them. Have them choose their favorite work of art. This can be a painting, a sculpture or even a piece of music. When you arrive at home, let them create their own version of the chosen art. Let them paint, sculpt or pull out a harmonica. This is a great way to encourage their creativity!
3.) Science at the Zoo.
Do you find yourself rushing through each exhibit faster than you can snap a photo? The next time you visit the zoo have your child pick their most favorite animal and have an impromptu science session. Ask your child specific questions about the animal. What is their real name? What do they eat? Are they a carnivore or herbivore? Where do they live in the wild? This will help slow down the pace while your child works on their observation skills.
4.) Writing Skills at a Local Park.
Each summer, we hand each child a good old composition notebook. We remind them to bring their books on our outings so they can document all of the fun things they did over the summer. One of their favorite activities is when they get to be nature detectives. Whenever they come across an animal track, they sketch and document it in their notebook. This way they can figure out what creature made the footprint. They also press leaves and flowers into their books and write short stories about their adventures.
5.) Math Skills at the Farmers Market.
Take them to a local farmers market and give your child a set amount of money. Assign your child an item to purchase and ask them to buy as many of that item without going over the dollar amount. For example, how many apples can you buy with the $3? Let them apply their learned math skills from the school year to see what they can buy. This is an easy and fun way to work with numbers.
Have a great summer!
Want to read more articles about the summer slide?
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- easy tips to avoid summer learning loss
- home learning activities for kids
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